Massively Parallel Geometry Processing

Who and when?
Prof. Dr. Michael Guthe, from the University Bayreuth is going to visit our University on Friday, July 5th 2019. His talk will start at 1 pm in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Topic: Massively Parallel Geometry Processing
Traditional geometry processing is almost always based on sequential algorithms and corresponding data structures for neighbourhood queries. However, if one considers the parallel processing of polygon meshes, it quickly becomes clear that some of the techniques of traditional algorithms have to be questioned.
In this talk, the problems and possibilities of transferring sequential polygon mesh algorithms and data structures to parallel computing architectures will be examined. The advantages and challenges of parallel processing will be discussed using the example of compression, generation and simplification of triangle meshes.

Michael Guthe is a full professor at the University of Bayreuth and the head of the Visual Computing Group. His research is focused on computer graphics, image processing and their links to artificial intelligence. He received a Ph.D. in computer science at the Computer Graphics Group of the Institute for Computer Science II of the University of Bonn, Germany. He was a Junior-Professor for Practical Computer Science at the University of Marburg, Germany.

The poster announcing the talk can be found here.


Realistic Virtual Humans for VR and Medicine

Who and when?
Prof. Dr. Mario Botsch, from Bielefeld University is going to visit our University on Friday, January 11th 2019. His talk will start at 2 pm in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Topic: Realistic Virtual Humans for VR and Medicine
Digital models of humans are frequently used in computer games or the special effects movie industry. In this talk I will first describe how to efficiently generate realistic avatars through 3D-scanning and template fitting, and demonstrate their advantages over generic avatars in virtual reality scenarios. Medical applications can also benefit from virtual humans. In the context of craniofacial reconstruction I will show how digital head models allow us to estimate possible face shapes from a given skull, and to estimate a person’s skull from a surface scan of the face.

Mario Botsch is professor in the Computer Science Department at Bielefeld University, where he leads the Computer Graphics & Geometry Processing Group. He received his MSc in mathematics from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and his PhD in computer science from RWTH Aachen, and did his postdoc studies at ETH Zurich. The focus of his research is the efficient acquisition, optimisation, animation, and visualisation of three-dimensional geometric objects. He is currently investigating 3D-scanning and motion-capturing of humans, modelling and animation of virtual characters, and real-time visualisation in interactive virtual reality scenarios.

The poster announcing the talk can be found here.


Beyond Pretty Pictures: Computer Graphics as a Tool for Forward and Inverse Problems

Who and when?
Prof. Dr. Matthias Hullin, from the University of Bonn is going to visit our University on Thursday, November 15th 2018. His talk will start at 2 pm in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Topic: Beyond Pretty Pictures: Computer Graphics as a Tool for Forward and Inverse Problems
A large part of computer graphics deals with the computationally efficient modeling and simulation of light propagating across many scales. The result of this simulation, by default, is meant to be consumed by humans, and so the goal is to achieve a high degree of “plausibility” or “realism”.
Ideally, however, the outcome of any graphics algorithm should be close to a reliable physical prediction. A central aspect of my research is dedicated to converting computer graphics methodology into a set of technical devices for solving problems in other fields. In my talk, I will illustrate this notion of “inverse computer graphics” by a selection of use cases. Examples include the calibration of free-form optical systems, the reconstruction of 3D shapes and the tracking of moving objects outside the line of sight, and the 3-dimensional reconstruction of fluid mixing processes.

Matthias Hullin is a Professor of Computer Science at the Institute of Computer Science II (Computer Graphics), University of Bonn, where he is head of the Digital Material Appearance Group. Matthias Hullin studied physics at the TU Kaiserslautern and earned his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science and Saarland University. After a two-year research stay at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada) he accepted a professorship for Digital Material Appearance at the University of Bonn in summer 2013. Hullin was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society and the “Entrepreneur Magazine” for founding Retrode UG.


Taking AR to Task: Explaining Where and How in the Real World

Who and when?
Prof. Steven K. Feiner, from Columbia University is going to visit our University on Wednesday, Jun 13th 2018. His talk will start at 4 pm in the Lecture Room HS 8.

Topic: Taking AR to Task: Explaining Where and How in the Real World
Researchers have been actively exploring Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) for a half century, first in the lab and later in the streets. Over the past few years, however, VR head-worn display developer kits have metamorphosed into early consumer products that are far superior to what most VR researchers previously had available. And compelling AR headworn display developer kits have now been released that promise to beget everyday see-through eyewear.
What can the upcoming generation of consumer AR make possible by interactively integrating virtual media with our experience of the physical world? I will try to answer this question in part by presenting some of the research being done by Columbia’s Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab to explore how we can support users in performing skilled tasks. Examples I will discuss range from providing standalone assistance, to enabling collaboration between a remote expert and a local user. I will address infrastructure spanning the gamut from lightweight, monoscopic eyewear, to hybrid user interfaces that synergistically combine tracked, stereoscopic, see-through head-worn displays with other displays and interaction devices.

Steven Feiner is a Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, where he directs the Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab. His lab has been conducting virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and wearable computing research for over 25 years, designing and evaluating novel 3D interaction and visualization techniques, creating the first outdoor mobile AR system using a see-through head-worn display and GPS, and pioneering applications of AR to fields as diverse as tourism and maintenance. He received an A.B. in Music and a Ph.D. in Computer Science, both from Brown University. Prof. Feiner is an IEEE Fellow and member of the CHI Academy, and received the ACM SIGCHI 2018 Lifetime Research Award, the IEEE ISMAR 2017 Career Impact Award, and the IEEE VGTC 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award. He and his students have won the ISWC 2017 Early Innovator Award, the ACM UIST 2010 Lasting Impact Award, and best paper awards at ACM UIST, ACM CHI, ACM VRST, IEEE ISMAR, and IEEE 3DUI.
Prof. Feiner has served as general chair or program chair for over a dozen ACM and IEEE conferences and is coauthor of two editions of Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice. He is lead advisor to Meta, the AR company.

See also the anouncement poster.


Interweaving of the virtual and physical reality

Who and when?
Prof. Dr. Xubo Yang, from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, is going to visit our University on Friday, March 23rd 2018. His talk will start at 11 am in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Topic: Interweaving of the virtual and physical reality
Mixed reality can provide novel interfaces, contents and experiences which usually merge computer-generated three-dimensional virtual contents seamlessly with physical world. In a general sense of mixed reality, there are many technical challenges and research opportunities for interweaving the virtual and physical reality. In this talk, I will introduce our research theme in this aspect and demonstrate with some of our related research projects, ranging from efficiently producing physically-based three-dimensional fluid animation contents, to designing novel mobile augmented reality interfaces and experiences that can automatically generate three-dimensional models and animations from creative drawings.

Xubo Yang is a professor and director of the Digital ART lab of School of Software at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. He received a Ph.D. in computer science at the State Key Lab of CAD & CG of Zhejiang University in 1998. He had been worked on various VR/AR projects in Fraunhofer-IMK VE group, National University of Singapore and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests focus on next-generation media art computing technologies in the context of computer graphics, virtual reality, augmented reality, and intelligent human-computer interfaces. He has published many peer-reviewed papers in the field of virtual and augmented reality, and computer graphics. He has served as international program committee member for IEEE VR, ACM VRST, CASA and other related conferences. He serves as the vice director of Computing Graphics committee in China Graphics Society, and is also member of Intelligent Graphics Committee of China Society of Image and Graphics, VR committee, CAD & CG committee and CHI committee of China Computer Federation.


Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are! – Big, Bigger, Huge Data Challenges in Astronomy

Who and when?
Dr. Hans-Rainer Klöckner, from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
Bonn, Germany, is going to visit our University on Thursday, January 18th. His talk will start at 2 pm in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Topic: Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are! – Big, Bigger, Huge Data Challenges in Astronomy
Astronomy is fundamentally a discovery science that provides essential clues to our understanding of the inner workings of the Universe. The new generation of powerful observatories will be the biggest civil data engines ever. Accumulating data in the zettabyte (1^21 byte) regime will open up the discovery space for new physics and the ability to access, manipulate, analyse, and visualise even small parts of such datasets is a major challenge. In his talk, he will provide an overview of big data in astronomy, the data challenges, the upcoming observatories like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), and an opportunity of a German data centre.

Dr. Hans-Rainer Klöckner is involved in the SKA efforts in Germany, he is the secretary of the GLOWSKA working group, project scientist of the SKA-MT-MPIfR Prototype Disk, and has lead the European science simulations (SKADS) for the SKA. He has studied physics and astronomy at the University of Bonn 1998, received his PhD 2004 at the Kapteyn-Institut at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). After a Postdoc at ASTRON in the Netherlands, he worked in observational cosmology at the University of Oxford for seven years. Since 2010 he is working at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn.

For more information check out the poster.


Use the error, Luke!

Who and when?
Prof. Dr. Martin Eisemann, from the TH Cologne, is going to visit our University on Thursday, November 23rd. His talk will start at 2 pm in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Topic: Use the error, Luke!
In this talk I will present some of the research I was involved in during the last years. The global scope of it is the insight that errors in stochastic rendering, as e.g. from Monte Carlo simulations using too few samples, is something we shouldn’t be afraid of but rather use it to guide our rendering towards the correct solution. I will talk about how to select the best image filter for noise removal in Monte Carlo renderings and how to investigate a 3D scene to find the actual causes of rendering artifacts and what we can do to suppress them.

2015 – today Professor of Computer Graphics at the TH Cologne
2011 – 2015 Akademischer Rat at the TU Braunschweig’s Institute of Computer Graphics
2006 – 2011 PhD candidate at the Institute of Computer Graphics of the TU Braunschweig with Marcus Magnor
2000 – 2006 Studies of Computer Visualistics at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
Additionally, Dr. Martin Eisemann was guest researcher at various institutions, including TU Delft, MPII Saarbrücken, EDM Hasselt and the University of Abertay Dundee. His research areas are image- and video-based rendering and editing, visual analytics, realistic and interactive Image Synthesis.


Research at Sentience Lab, Auckland University of Technology

Who and when?
Dr. Stefan Marks, from the Auckland University of Technology, is going to visit our University on Wednesday, July 12th. His talk will start at 3 pm in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Topic: Research at Sentience Lab, Auckland University of Technology
“One of the most fantastic capabilities of the human brain is that of complex pattern recognition. If world-encompassing actions were accelerated, or a facsimile of the action presented within the velocity range of human comprehension, not only would the motion become clearly visible, but also some fundamental principles or heretofore unfamiliar forms of behavior probably would be exposed. The brain quickly correlates such new information with previously acquired data and insight gained from other experiences and adds understanding to the new phenomena being examined.” (Fuller, R. B. (1982). Critical Path (2nd edition). New York, N.Y: St. Martin’s Griffin. p183) With the renaissance of virtual reality technology in 2012, scientific visualisation of complex spatial datasets can now be achieved with COTS hardware at a level that was previously reserved for specialised CAVE facilities. 3D immersive visualisation enables the user to “dive” into data and opens up opportunities of seeing and observing patterns, connections, spatial and temporal relations. Selected examples of scientific visualisations implemented at Sentience Lab, AUT, will be presented, including the integration of the research and the VR facilities into under- and post-graduate teaching and interdisciplinary projects.

Dr. Stefan Marks is researcher and senior lecturer at Colab, the interdisciplinary unit at Auckland University of Technology. His main areas of research are virtual reality, visualisation, and computer graphics. He combines these interests in his function as director of Sentience Lab, an immersive virtual reality facility for multimodal and multisensory data visualisation and interaction.

Stefan has eight years of industry experience as a hardware and software developer, a Diplom of Microinformatics and a Master’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the Westfälische Hochschule, Germany and a PhD from The University of Auckland.

In his free time, Stefan enjoys hiking and photography.


Beyond Fun and Games: VR and Visualization as a Tool of the Trade

Who and when?
Prof. Carolina Cruz-Neira and Prof. Dirk Reiners, from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA, are going to visit our University on Monday, June 19th. Their talk will start at 3 pm in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Topic: Beyond Fun and Games: VR and Visualization as a Tool of the Trade
The recent resurgence of VR is exciting and encouraging because the technology is at a point that it soon will be available for a wider range of industries and uses and will be driven by the consumer market and therefore more robust and at much lower cost than the large-scale systems from the early 2000’s. However, it has also been a little bit disappointing to see that VR technology is mostly being portrayed as the ultimate gaming environment and the new way to experience movies. VR is much more than that, there has been a wide number or groups around the world using VR for the past twenty years in engineering, design, training, medical treatments and many other areas beyond gaming and entertainment that seem to have been forgotten in the public perception. Furthermore, VR technology is also much more than goggles, there are many ways to build devices and systems to immerse users in virtual environments. And finally, there are also a lot of challenges in aspects related to creating engaging, effective, and safe VR applications. This talk will present our experiences in developing VR technology, creating applications for industry, exploring the effect of VR exposure to users, and experimenting with different immersive interaction models. The talk will provide a much wider perspective on what VR is, its benefits and limitations, and how it has the potential to become a key technology to improve many aspects of human life.

In addition to VR becoming more prevalent, we are experiencing an exponential growth of data in all aspects of human life to the point that the vast amounts of data are becoming overwhelming to manage as well as are starting to be unused due to our lack of tools to extract meaningful information from the raw data. Social media, advances in sensors, new computational models, web surveys, electronic transactions, are just examples of data generation/collection technologies that are capturing much more than we can handle with the current approaches for data analysis. Clearly the human cognitive system only enable us to scrutinize and analyze a limited amount of the raw data we generate, and therefore limiting also the quality of our scientific insight on the problem at hand. Consequently, our data-rich world is developing a critical need for visualization as a key component of the scientists’ tool set for discovery and insight into their areas of expertise.

Visualization, and especially interactive visualization, takes advantage of the bandwidth of the human visual system, our ability to visually identify patterns and relationships, and how we interact with the data to extract information. This presentation explores the power of visualization to extract information from big data by presenting an introduction to visual analytics, to current methods and techniques and some illustrative examples of work being done at the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The presentation seeks to stimulate the audience’s imagination about what’s possible as well as to pursue future research with a multidisciplinary approach in which visualization and visual analytics takes as much as a central role as the data gathering approaches model and analyze a wide variety of problems, phenomena, situations, training and other disciplines of human life.

Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira is a pioneer in the areas of virtual reality and interactive visualization, having created and deployed a variety of technologies that have become standard tools in industry, government and academia. She is known world-wide for being the creator of the CAVE virtual reality system, which was her PhD work, and for VR Juggler, an open source VR application development environment. Her work with advanced technologies is driven by simplicity, applicability, and providing value to a wide range of disciplines and businesses. This drive makes her work highly multi-disciplinary and collaborative, having receiving multi-million dollar awards from the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Lab, the Department of Energy, Deere and Company, and others. She has dedicated a part of her career to transfer research results in virtual reality into daily use in industry and research organizations and to lead entrepreneurial initiatives to commercialize results of her VR research. She is also recognized for having founded and led very successful virtual reality research centers, like the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State University, the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise and now the Emerging Analytics Center. She serves in many international technology boards, government technology advisory committees, and outside the lab, she enjoys extrapolating her technology research with the arts and the humanities through forward-looking public performances and installations. She has been named by BusinessWeek magazine as a “rising research star” in the next generation of computer science pioneers, has been inducted as an ACM Computer Pioneer, received the IEEE Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award and the Distinguished Career Award from the International Digital Media & Arts Society among other national and international recognitions.

Currently, Dr. Cruz is the Donaghey Professor and the Director of the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and an Arkansas Research Scholar through the Arkansas Research Alliance.

Dr. Dirk Reiners has been at the heart of immersive visualization and Virtual Reality (VR) for more than 20 years. He has a MS and PhD in Computer Graphics from the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, and worked at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, the largest Computer Graphics research institute in the world, for more than 10 years on different topics in interactive graphics and VR. He was instrumental in pioneering VR deployment for many of the German car manufacturers. His primary research interests are in interactive 3D graphics, immersive and high-resolution display systems and the software fundamentals needed to do all of this effectively and efficiently. He was the initiator and project lead for the OpenSG Open Source scenegraph project. He has been an active member of the virtual reality community and has been the Chair for Demos, Videos, Exhibits and the Program Chair at IEEE Virtual Reality and other conferences.


Carolina Cruz-Neira – inventor of the CAVE – visiting IVC

The inventor of the Cave, Carolina Cruz-Neira, will visit our University and give a talk. She will be joined by Dirk Reiners who will in the same talk outline current research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Emerging Analytics Center. Their talk will be on Monday, June 19th starting at 3 pm in the Visual Computing Lab C 061.

Further details to be posted here.